Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Captain Beefheart. RIP

It seems like the whole world has had something to say about Captain Beefheart since his death last week, so I almost didn’t bother to add my tribute. Apparently the Amazon charts had Trout Mask Replica outselling the Beatles and Pink Floyd at the weekend. Unbelievable stuff. I can only be thankful that I’ve not seen Bono being wheeled out to say a few words.

But anyway, now the eulogy tsunami is tailing off a little bit, here we go..

From the day I first heard Abba Zaba in my housemate’s room in 1989 as an impressionable youth, through my subsequent years as a Beefheart obsessive, to the day I walked out the house last Friday and bumped into a friend who broke the news of his demise - I could never really find the words to explain why I liked his music quite as much as I did. It just seemed to make perfect sense. Even the senseless depths of Decals and Trout Mask sounded normal to me. The most frustrating thing for me was just not being able to understand why other people (whom I would normally consider to have similar tastes) couldn’t hear what I could hear. I was mocked quite openly in certain quarters and still am!

The obsessive streak has long since subsided. Back in the pre-internet early 90’s I would write real letters to other fans and swap cassette after cassette of badly dubbed rehearsal bootlegs and live shows. I collected books, fanzines and owned all the albums on vinyl AND CD (in my defence that compulsiveness paid off a few years ago when I sold most of my collection for the best part of £500 leaving me sensibly with just the CD’s)

I can’t get too upset over the death of someone who has been a recluse for more than 25 years. To all intents and purposes Captain Beefheart has been dead a long time. I just hope that the friends of Don Van Vliet are doing OK without him. For the rest of us his music will never die.

This is a repost from a couple of years back.

Captain Beeheart - Well [Remix]

No hecklers in heaven.

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